Funding boost for young athletes

By Jonathan Dine

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Ruby Adsett is one of the Hawke's Bay athletes benefiting from the high performance sport programme.
Ruby Adsett is one of the Hawke's Bay athletes benefiting from the high performance sport programme.

More up-and-coming athletes will benefit from a funding boost to Sport Hawke's Bay's Talented Athlete Development Programme.

Chief executive Mark Aspden yesterday announced the increased financial support from Sir Graeme Avery, the Hawke's Bay Regional Sports Park and Eastern Institute of Technology.

This will open the programme up to more athletes who will train at the Regional Sports Park, Pettigrew Green Arena and use the sports science capabilities of EIT.

"It will involve the delivery of strength and conditioning, nutrition, lifestyle and sports psychology services," Mr Aspden said.

The extended programme will include Sport New Zealand's current high performance 'Pathway to Podium' which fosters young talent and prepares them for life as an athlete.

Shannon Gearey (athletics), Elise Legarth (kayak), Kimiora Poi (netball), Kate McKelvie (para swimming), Ruby Adsett (swimming) and Georgia Hulls (athletics) are all current members and additional athletes will be named within the next month.

Sport Hawke's Bay's talent development manager Marcus Agnew said the programme provides a pathway to nurture promising talent in the province.

"In time we hope to see more Hawke's Bay athletes achieving on the national and international stage, bringing pride and inspiration to their communities."

Ruby Adsett has been a member of the programme since the middle of last year.

The 15-year-old Napier Aquahawks Swimming Club member is fresh from winning the women's 2.5km Napier Port Ocean Swim titles at the weekend.

She said the programme has been hugely helpful for her not only within her chosen sport but outside it too.

"We have lectures which teach us about nutrition, the psychological aspects of sport, goal setting, I think it's such a huge advantage.

"I would love to see it build, I think it would go a long way to keeping a lot of sporting talent here in Hawke's Bay."

The programme has also proved hugely beneficial for Paralympic hopeful Kate McKelvie.

The 16-year-old Napier Girls' High School student, who has spina bifida, recently completed the Halberg Outward Bound Activate Course for physically disabled young people in the Marlborough Sounds.

Kate said she had an amazing time.

The eight day adventure included early-morning swims, sailing, high-ropes and a solo night in the bush.

"I made some lifelong friends, I am more confident as a person and my communication skills have gotten much better."

Kate wants to compete at the 2020 Tokyo Paralympics and is making plans for that under the tutelage of Gary Francis, the national development coach.

"I feel I'm on track."

- Hawkes Bay Today

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